The Earth
The Solar System & Time
Charts
Using Aeronautical Charts
Basics of Navigation
Distance, Speed & Time
Vertical Navigation
Fuel Planning
Practical Navigation Techniques
Radio Navigation
Practice Exam

Plotting Positions

Lines of latitude and longitude are drawn on the 1:500 000 aeronautical charts every half degree (½°).

Small black marks are drawn along the lines of latitude and longitude every 1 minute (1′). We can use these latitude and longitude markings to plot any position on the chart.

Example

What is located at 50°58’N and 004°06’W?

1 Draw a horizontal line at 50° 58’N.

There are 60 minutes in one degree, so to find 50° 58’N we can first find 51°N and move down 2′ below the 51° latitude line.

2 Draw a vertical line at 004°06’W.

004° 06’W is located 6′ to the west of the 004° longitude line.

3 The intersection of these two lines is the position 50°58’N and 004°06’W.

In this case, Belle Vue airfield is located at 50°58’N 004°06’W

You should practice this process of finding landmarks based on their latitude & longitude until you are fairly quick at it. Some questions in the Flight Planning & Performance exam will require you to plot 3 separate positions to answer one question!